This week my radio guest was Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine and entertainer extraordinaire. Before the show, we sat down for a blog-exclusive interview about her new curated OpenSky shop and her tips for busy entertainers.
Listen to my show every Wednesday on Sirius channel 110.
Tell us a little bit about your OpenSky party.
When they asked me to start curating some sales, I thought it was important to not just put up a couple party products but to have it be something that came together as a theme. My hope is that everyone interprets it differently; great if you buy everything in the whole sale and throw a big summer bash with a water slide and paddle, but even if you just buy a pack of the Martha Stewart stickers and make some thank you notes, or a birthday party invitation, or you decorate the front of a notebook with them. There are so many different levels you can take it and I think that what I’ve tried to do in the sale is give you a lot of inspiration but then give you supplies so that you can also interpret it however you want. I think it’s really up to you to have fun with it.
When you’re entertaining, it’s important to not feel the pressure of having to do everything or have it be elaborate and kind of pick your priorities. There are these great paper daisy fans that you hang and if you did nothing else but buy a pack of those and string them over your dining room table or put them on your front door, it would be fun. You can do as much or as little as you want.
Your daughter inspired your current OpenSky daisy-themed party. Where else do you find inspiration for party themes?
It was my daughter Daisy's first birthday and also, one of the first weddings we ever planned at Martha Stewart Weddings was a daisy wedding, so I would definitely say that I find inspiration from the people that I am hosting the party for. I think that’s really important, you have to think about what’s right for them, what they love, what’s appropriate for their age and for the occasion and go from there.
Even when I was throwing a birthday party for Martha last year, I was like “Oh my gosh, what do you do for Martha Stewart?” and then I thought “ You know what? I’m just going to think about all the things Martha loves.” It was her favorite food and she loves lemon so I served drinks out of lemons and she loves Scrabble so [we had] petit four Scrabble letters and made gardlands that said "Happy Birthday Martha" but looked like Scrabble letters. Once you start really thinking about the person then everything else falls into place.
Are you already planning your next OpenSky party?
Oh always. Between what we have going on at Martha Stewart Weddings and the parties that I’m working on and the parties in my real life – I’ve got a baby shower I’m throwing, I’ve got a bunch of different, fun parties. I think the fun part for me again is celebrating the occasion and whomever the party is for.
One of your mantras is "Make it personal." Why is that idea so important to you?
I think that’s what makes something memorable. We talk about décor and details and all that, but at the end of the day a party is to celebrate a special occasion and a person, whether it’s their baby shower, their bridal shower, their anniversary or a special holiday. It’s not about how much you spend or about how big it is or how many details there are, it’s just about having it be appropriate for whomever you’re throwing the party for.
How can someone make a last-minute party feel personal?
Let me just preface it by saying that whenever you’re having a party, it’s always best to be as organized as possible. There is still a lot you can do online especially with DIY. We have a lot of ideas both on Martha Stewart Weddings and on the sale that you could be prepping the night before. We have a lot of downloadable templates, for example in the Daisy party I have a cute scalloped table runner and yellow placemats. All you need is your printer and computer. You just press print. So, I think whether it’s downloading photos of someone and punching them out to put on toothpicks to stick in brownies or putting out placemats or a garland, you’d be amazed at how much you can do that night before. Another reason not to leave it to the last minute, is that it is less stressful but it can be less expensive because then you’re not paying rush shipping costs.
For more Darcy, follow her on Twitter @DarcyMiller